World Cup fever hits the Eastern Cape

Monday, March 2, 2009

Queenstown - Most towns and cities in South Africa will not host 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and World Cup matches, however, local residents still stand a chance to benefit either directly or indirectly from the historic soccer tournaments.

This was one of the messages the Eastern Cape MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture, Noxolo Abrahams wanted to pass on to residents in Aliwal North and Queenstown when she visited these areas at the weekend.

The MEC said the two soccer tournaments would also present South Africa with an opportunity to strengthen existing relations with the international world and to create new partnerships.

"Through the World Cup, we invite other countries to be friends of South Africa. We'll learn about them; and, in turn, they will learn about our cultures as well. That way, we will strengthen our relations with friends abroad."

The second leg of the 2010 Mass Mobilisation and Legacy Road Show, hosted on Friday and Saturday was aimed at mobilising South Africans to get behind the country's hosting of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

Life and soccer coaching clinics were conducted by 2010 ambassadors Mark Fish, Deseree Ellis, Doctor Khumalo and Phil Masinga.

Speaking in Aliwal North, Ms Ellis told the youth that soccer was not just about scoring goals and winning matches.

"Sport also teaches you discipline, and it takes you away from the streets and away from liquor and drugs. Coaches may do their bit, but it is up to you to make the right choices in life," said the Banyana Banyana legend.

The road show, led by the Department of Sport and Recreation and the 2010 Local Organising Committee, in partnership with the 2010 Local Organising Committee and the South African Football Association (SAFA), will now move to other provinces.

The campaign will culminate in an event oin Johannesburg a few days before the opening ceremony of the Confederations Cup, kicking off on 11 June this year.